Newcastle United’s Dan Ashworth on gardening leave amid Manchester United interest

Newcastle United have announced that Sporting Director Dan Ashworth has begun a period of gardening leave after telling the club he would like to leave following interest from Manchester United.

CEO Darren Eales expressed the club’s disappointment at Ashworth’s departure. Eales stated: “We are naturally disappointed Dan has chosen to leave, however, our exciting journey doesn’t stop.”

Eales has assured fans that the process to recruit a new Sporting Director will commence immediately, signalling the club’s commitment to maintaining momentum amidst this transition.

According to Ben Jacobs, the clubs are in negotiations which will determine how much gardening leave Ashworth will serve and how much compensation the Manchester club would have to pay.

Although it is reported that the Red Devils would be willing to wait rather than pay the compensation, which is rumoured to be around £20m.

Ashworth’s tenure at Newcastle was relatively brief, yet impactful. His extensive experience, particularly from his roles as Technical Director at Brighton and West Brom, brought a wealth of knowledge as he oversaw the clubs recruitment.

He joined the Magpies in the summer of 2022 and had a part to play in the successful transfers of young talent such as Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon.

As well as this, he helped bring in Sven Botman and Nick Pope.

However, it could be argued that this season’s recruitment hasn’t worked out as well as the previous years, which is evident through their league position and early exit in the Champions League.

There was maybe a lack of due diligence when they spent £55m on Sandro Tonali from AC Milan, who was banned for 10 months due to a gambling issues.

On the other hand, there has been a bit of bad luck with injuries, in particular with the summer acquisition Harvey Barnes, who hasn’t had time to make his intended impact. 

Get Football | Ewan Minns

More European Football News